Communicate and Be Transparent With Your Members

The bottom line is you need to show your members that you are taking all the necessary precautions to keep their health top of mind. The reality of this virus is it is inevitable.

James Plata
April 1, 2020
TLDR;

The bottom line is you need to show your members that you are taking all the necessary precautions to keep their health top of mind.

The reality of this virus is it is inevitable. The mode of transmission and the amount of time that one is contagious makes preventing this virus from spreading very difficult. But you can take action to help manage the concerns from your members. Communication will be key here.

Over-Communicate

The first thing you need to do is address this issue head-on with your members. This can be through a Facebook group, blog, email, etc. Your goal is to show them that their concern is heard, and action is taking place.

Your initial communication should include 3 sections

  1. Address their concern. Even if your community has not been directly affected yet, there is a high likelihood that someone has been affected somehow.
  2. Show action. This is where you highlight new or existing policies that you will implement in the immediate future. More frequent cleaning rotations, limits on class sizes,
  3. Show them contingency plans are in place. Give them reassurance that if conditions worsen, that your studio has back-up plans in place to continue to allow your members to maintain their fitness, in more controlled environments (link to workout solutions, upselling into Personal training, etc)

The bottom line is you need to show your members that you are taking all the necessary precautions to keep their health top of mind.

Set Expectations. Be Consistent

During this time, you will be competing with a ton of noise. Every news company, every publication, every ‘industry expert’ will be pushing content and updates. If all your members are exposed to is updates from external sources, they might be slowly forming their own responses in their minds, as it relates to your business. This could be bad for business.

The best way to combat this is to keep publishing relevant updates, at a reliable interval.

After you send an initial message to your members, tell them what they can expect from you, in terms of communication. Is it daily, every few days, or every week? This way, you can set the expectation that both you and your members will have the opportunity to discuss how any recent updates might affect their ability to work out or maintain their fitness.

Create a forum for open dialogue

Information moves fast. At this stage of this pandemic, things change quickly. Every day, maybe even every few hours, new information is revealed. New policies or guidelines are implemented by the government or health organizations. You need a reliable way to communicate with your member base in real-time. It is best to use as many of these channels as possible, to increase the likelihood that every member sees your updates.

1. Facebook group – this is a great option, with the lowest barrier to entry. Most people spend a lot of time on this platform, so you can easily meet them where they are. This platform also allows for members in your community to communicate with each other. In a time of social-distancing, online communication can be a valuable tool for maintaining your community.

2. Facebook Live or IG TV – This is another great outlet to communicate with your members in a different medium. More and more people are interacting with videos at a higher percentage than they are with written format content. This is also a great way to add some emotion and context to your communication with your members. They can see you. They can see your concern. They can see what this means to you and your members.

3. Blog – While not as convenient as social media platforms, blog posts allow users to subscribe to your blog post updates, that get pushed directly to their email. This can be a great way to ensure your messages are delivered to all subscribed members. The drawback to social media is not everyone might check that platform.

Throughout all of this, one thing is consistent, communication with your members will be critical in keeping your business running. The better informed your members are, the more likely they are to maintain healthier habits and stay paying members at your facility.

James Plata

James Plata is a fitness-nut and hoarder of all gadgets. He's owned an Affiliate and is an experienced personal trainer. You can catch him awake at 4 am every morning, reading, writing, or working out. Oh, and he currently sits as the Content Director for PushPress.

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